Thursday, December 29, 2005

What the Day Wants Me to Write

Here we are at the end of 2005 and the World Spins Madly On. (This is both a sentiment and a song that I am listening to while writing this!)

Avery has learned to crawl. She also sits and turns the pages of her Pat the Bunny book. She eats chopped up turkey and cubes of cheese and moves her torso to the beat of songs. Right now she is wearing a yellow t-shirt (gift from Molly-THANKS Mol!) that reads COME PARTY IN MY CRIB. When you smile at Avery, you get the gift of an automatic grin.

We visited Champoeg State Park today and crossed the trails enjoying the fresh air. We saw Blue Herons and Sequoia. We marvelled at the height of the flood waters in 1861, shown with a placard on the side of a rustic building. We had some laughs when my husband, a.k.a. Debbie Downer (a new SNL character that always delivers a negative spin on something good, followed by a BWA BWA BWA sound) started wondering what would happen if the hypothetical levee broke, sending the muddy waters of the Willamette to engulf our precious family. Standing on the banks of the wide and powerful water puts some things into perspective. I impressed him with toyota kicks off the side of the stroller and Champoeg Park dance moves those brown pastures will not soon forget.

On the way home Julia sang me some of the lyrics to "Rainbow Connection" which I didn't realize she knew. (Then again, how could she not when it's on the line-up of songs she listens to each night before sleeping?!) She sang afew lines and then said, "Help me with the rest." Her little voice singing those words makes me glad to be alive. Following a hearty and creative lunch for her, (grilled tortillas cut with cookie cutters, hello good time!) her "quiet time" has turned into an unexpected nap. The library is open until 8 tonight so I think we'll take a field trip, she and I, to get some new stories while my husband delights himself with play after play of the Ducks at the holiday bowl. Oh yeah and he's going to have to keep an eye on The Crawler.

I am clean, just showered. I ate a power lunch and only one square of Baklava. Last night I went out with my oldest friend Donna. We ate rich pasta suppers and laughed and cried to The Family Stone, analyzing it on the walk to the car. Afterwards I called my mom, who I am so lucky to have. The movie made me think of her, appreciate her, and want to reach out more. My mom is my constant friendly mirror, my Welcome Wagon filled with pillows.

There is a new book to be started (The Full Cleveland by Terry Reed) and other things to look forward to, like time hiking in the forest as a family of four, or using my Anthropologie gift card from my bro (THANKS GILLY BOP) and a date night Sunday with my husband.

There's a whole heck of a lot of things that I am blessed to be and be surrounded by and nothing but new new new coming my way. New goals to be made. New thoughts, new challenges, new amibitions. New friends and new smiles to land on my face. And as far as the year ahead, all the green shoots of promise have me excited. Julia will become potty trained and go to preschool. Avery will take her first steps and say her first word. I will aspire to have her inner calm, and Juila's infectious giggle. I too will grow as a mom, getting better all the time. Nothing but a whole heck of a lot of promise. For now, there is this day to be mindful of and appreciate.

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Sassy? Always!

All parents have seen SASSY brand toys. You know, they make the toys babies can chew and rattle, shake and grasp. A lot of them are adorned with polka dots and cool vibrant colors. Well, I have some sad news for the Sassy company. They had better watch out because there's some compitition in the running, and it's the kind of competition moms will love for a multitude of reasons, namely because everyone has them somewhere in their bathroom cupboards.

What is this new plaything that babies will adore, you ask? Drum roll please.... fresh from the package, nestled in its' own bright green wrapper, TA DA, it's an Always Maxi pad!

Today Avery found one and LOVED it. It crackled like the best crackly fabric books. It was soft and bitable, like the finest chew toys. Her blooming teeth weren't able to shred the tightly wrapped packaging, or puncture the pad and thus let loose whatever moisture holding miracle exists within the pad, which put MY mind at ease. (Again, if your baby has merely emerging teeth I feel this plaything is hazard free, especially if you are supervising!) It occupied my daughter for a good twenty minutes.

I think I might freeze one and see if she likes that too. GENIUS!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Smart Cookies and Santa

Julia wants a kitchen for Christmas. Though she can make us countless bowls of make believe soup with the shoddy leftover peices of our tupperware collection, it's time to invest in some "REAL" play food, dishes, and a place to prepare it. Forget using your imagination. The kid needs mini cupboards, a tiny stovetop, and oven "mittens, " as she calls them.

When we spied a clever and attractive children's kitchen at COSTCO we merely spied it. We did not lift it into our cart and haul it home. When we were ready to buy, it was gone.

SO. We headed to the next best kitchen buying locale, Toys R Us. We debated beforehand about how best to accomplish the purchase. Would my husband go alone to get it? That would be good because then Jooge wouldn't be there with us. But, then I couldn't help pick it out. If I went and got it without him, it would be too hard to do with both kids.

We took both kids. We went on a Sunday. It was a MADHOUSE. I HATE going to places like that when they are super busy. Anyway, we stood in the kitchen aisle (or attempted to stand as we were constantly rearranging ourselves to let mad shoppers pass) and contemplated our four choices. My husband wanted the BIG ONE and I thought it was too much. When we finally decided on one I took the girls and maneuvered them back to the car so my husband could buy the kitchen. Had Jooge heard our entire conversation? You betcha. Were her wheels turning?
Oh yeah.

He paid and then we drove around back to pick it up. They put it into the back of the station wagon. ( Three inches from her head!) Of course there was a big old picture on the box and the lady was like, "Shouldn't we turn this around? It shows what it is." (Within earshot.)

We get home and the first thing she says is, "I want my kitchen."

What were we thinking? Buying a kitchen and then acting like we hadn't? IDIOTS! Buying a kitchen but figuring she wouldn't even notice? Uh, the box is pretty huge. Bringing her with us to the aisle, discussing the options, and then discussing our plan within earshot. People, lemmie tell ya, she would have understood even at A YEAR OLD what we were doing.

I made a quick speech about how SANTA was bringing the kitchen. I insisted there was not a kitchen at our house yet and said SANTA would be bringing it. We had just gone to the store to figure out which kitchen to tell SANTA to bring. Basically, I was serving my child a big huge plate of B.S. and proving that I had truly arrived at a place called Parenthood, sans I.Q. and morality.

Anyway, we know what she is getting for Christmas. A kitchen. And she knows too, even though she has temporarily forgotten. The question is, will we be getting what we so terribly need: a big fat clue?